Harry Potter Reread 2014

[HP Reread 2014] Prisoner of Azkaban Check-in #1

hp-bannerI, along with some of my favourite bloggers, am rereading all seven books this year. Here on MVB, I will be livetweeting as I read, as well as writing up a bi-weekly recap of where I’m at in the book. When I was first discovering the series, I read so quickly that I never really let myself savour each word, so I am very much looking forward to taking my time and letting everything I love about Harry’s story sink in.

464164The Chapters: 

  1. Owl Post
  2. Aunt Marge’s Big Mistake
  3. The Knight Bus
  4. The Leaky Cauldron
  5. The Dementor
  6. Talons and Tea Leaves
  7. The Boggart in the Wardrobe
  8. Flight of the Fat Lady
  9. Grim Defeat
  10. The Marauder’s Map
  11. The Firebolt

The Highlights: (some spoilers for plot arcs in play in this book and the rest of the series.)

  • Let’s get this out of the way now: I am a serious Marauder Era fan. I can talk for hours about Lily and James, and about how the Marauders were more than just pranksters. So this book? It brings all the pain. Many of the things I noticed in this reread were related to them, and it’s kind of a chicken/egg situation–I’m not sure if I noticed them because I’m a Marauder fan or I’m a Marauder fan because these are the things I gravitated towards.
  • Par example, I practically crowed when I read Ron’s note about the Pocket Sneakoscope he bought for Harry, because that “someone untrustworthy” wasn’t just referring to his mischievous brothers. It’s those little hints that make the series so satisfying to come back to.
  • Prisoner is also the novel that made me realize just how complex the HP series was going to be. Rowling wrote a story that was convoluted and dizzying and brilliant, and it was aimed for a middle-grade audience. It shows a trust in her audience to follow the path she’s carved out, and that trust is returned to her tenfold by the end of the book.
  • I definitely would have been Hermione in this novel, taking more classes than she can reasonably handle and anticipating every moment of it. Her insatiable curiousity is probably my favourite thing about her, and I can’t really blame her for wanting to learn as much as she possibly could about the wizarding world.
  • Remus John Lupin
  • I could talk about how much I adore Lupin, but I think that gif says it all, really. Rowling speaks of him quite favourably herself: “I really liked him as a character but he also has his failing though he’s a nice man and a wonderful teacher – in fact he’s the one time I’ve written a teacher… the kind of teacher I’d have loved to have had.” (J.K. Rowling at the Royal Albert Hall, June 26, 2003) By the time I had read Prisoner, I had been lucky enough to have a teacher like Lupin, so it was like reliving that lovely year all over again.
  • Much like Hermione, I had/have very little patience for Divination as a class at least. I value insight, but I also think that you make your own path. On occasion, you meet people who may help you decide on things, but overall, you decide what your fate is and tea leaves can’t change that. I remember during my first read of this book how impatient I was with “Talons and Tea Leaves,” but now that I know the role Trelawney later serves in the series, I found myself much more willing to sit through it all.
  • “The Boggart in the Wardrobe,” on the other hand, is a favourite chapter for many reasons. Lupin’s brilliance as a teacher shines through this chapter, especially since his lesson is placed in direct contrast with Snape’s Potions class. Rereaders like myself know the shared history between Lupin and Snape, and it makes the experience richer. They are the same age, and yet could not be more different in their approaches. Snape’s prejudices are laid out next to Lupin’s acceptance and encouragement of his students’ abilities, whatever they might be.
  • Harry’s first Hogsmeade trip is memorable for many reasons, but this reread was more painful than I thought it would be. Reliving the scene where Harry finds out the connection between his parents and Sirius Black was horrible, for lack of a better word. For someone who values loyalty the way Harry does, it’s devastating. But where another person might then start to mistrust his own friends, Harry shows an unwavering trust in Ron and Hermione still. It’s incomprehensible to him how someone might turn against his best friends, and it’s that quality that saves his life over and over again.

Check back on March 26 for Check-in #2!

Philosopher’s Stone Check-in #1 | Philosopher’s Stone Check-in #2 | Chamber of Secrets Check-in #1Chamber of Secrets Check-in #2

Thinking of joining in? Sign up over @ Just A Lil’ Lost, and note down the schedule below!

  • January: Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s/Sorcerer’s Stone
  • February: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
  • March: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
  • April: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
  • May: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
  • June: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
  • July: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

7 replies »

  1. This still remains my favorite book in the series. I think because of the things you mentioned where you could start seeing how far-spread the threads of this story were starting to go and how amazing it was yet to become and also because rowling gave harry sirius. that relationship was so great.

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